Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi
What are the best film schools in the world? Should one opt for a film school on their home turf or to travel afar to further their education? These questions and more will be answered in this post.
Collegelearners affords a plethora of information on best film schools in the world, affordable film schools in canada for international students, affordable film schools in usa for international students and so much more. Ensure you peruse through our catalogue for relevant information on similar topics.
Requirements of film schools in the USA for international students
At film schools in USA and across the world, aspiring students study the art and craft of filmmaking. Many of these institutions offer accredited degrees that can help you start a career as a filmmaker. While some are private schools, others are affiliated with a college or university, allowing students to earn credits toward an undergraduate degree as they learn how to make movies.
International students who want to pursue film study in the USA will find that there are specialist schools that provide reputable film degrees and give students the opportunity to gain exposure to all areas of the film world. Most of these colleges and universities offering this degree program are located in New York and California.
Begin the preparation early, at least a year in advance, as deadlines approach quickly. Here are the requirements for international students to apply for film schools in united states:
- If you are an international student interested in pursuing film studies in the U.S, you should start the process by researching the good film schools in the USA.
- After researching the film school in the U.S, take a look at their admission process. The admission process is a bit lengthy. There are many important requirements you have to meet.
- Transcripts have to be submitted.
- College essays are required
- letters of recommendation as demanded by the institutions
- English proficiency test score(test like TOEFL/IELTS)
Film making courses in USA for international students
There are plenty of options for international students in the field of filmmaking to study in the USA. Below we have mentioned the different undergraduate and graduate programs offered by American institutes.
- Master in digital film
- Master in fine arts in film production
- Master in television, radio, film
- MFA in film and media art
- Master of fine arts in film
- Master of fine arts in film and animation
- Master of arts in fashion film and photography
- Master of Arts in film and media
- Master of science in fiction and entertainment
- M.F.A in cinema arts
- Master in production design
- Master of film editing
- Bachelor in film studies
- Bachelor of Arts in film production
- Bachelor of Science in film
- Bachelor in film and television
- Bachelor of fine arts in film art
- BSc in creative media and film
- Bachelor in Media studies – film and culture
- Bachelor of fine arts in film
- BFA in film production
- Bachelor of Science in digital filmmaking
Best Film Schools in the USA for international students
There are many famous film schools in USA for international students. Among them the best 5 film schools in USA are:
- The University of Southern California(USC film school)
- University of California, Los Angeles
- NYU Tisch School of the Arts
- American Film Institute
- California Institute of the Arts
Affordable film schools in USA for international students
Of course, the USA is known for its expensive studies. What if you get a few best affordable film schools in USA? For those who are interested in film schools in USA at an affordable cost, we have mentioned a few cheap film schools in USA:
- ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena
- Barnard College, New York
- Chapman University, California
- Colorado Film School, Colorado
- Columbia College Chicago
- CUNY Brooklyn College
- Dominican University, Illinois
- Emerson College, Massachusetts
- Ferris State University, Michigan
- Fordham University, New York
- Ithaca College, New york
- Ferris State University, Michigan
- Fordham University, New York
- Kean University, New Jersey
- Loyola Marymount University, California
Careers in film
There are three parts in film production that offer different kinds of occupations to international students. They are given below:
- In the pre-production phase, ideas are presented in full-fledged productions. Fundraising, budgeting, screenwriting, and set design are the main parts of pre-production. Jobs in pre-production include screenwriting, producing, costume design, casting, etc
- In the production phase, the actual creation of the film takes place. Occupations in production include production assistants, directors, sound engineering technicians, camera operators, boom operators, gaffers, animators, multimedia artists, directors of photography, etc
- In the post-production phase, the process of editing is done. Jobs in the post-production phase include assistant editors, editors, sound effects editors, dubbing editors, film librarians, advertising and promotional advertisers, sales representatives, etc
With film-making being one of the most demanded programs, various universities provide plenty of courses. Students can choose their interested programs in USA and become an expert in their preferred area.
How to Apply to Film School
Like American students, international students will be busy preparing the many documents, school transcripts, essays, and test scores needed to get into a U.S. film school. Begin preparing at least a year in advance, as deadlines approach rapidly. Remember, international students may need additional documents that American students do not, such as a student visa or English proficiency test scores.
International students have several options when it comes to applying to film schools in the U.S., but there’s a lot you need to know and research. Applying for college is a big deal and a daunting task. To get into a good college, you have to be the total package, and applying to film school is no exception. But if you want to attend one of the best film schools in the U.S., you will need excellent grades both during your high school and secondary studies, as well as on standardized tests. You also need to be well rounded, involved in community service, clubs and sports. So how do you start applying?
First, do a lot of research. The U.S. is a big country with many different geographical regions, climates and cultures and hundreds of colleges and universities. Since you’ve chosen to study film, the primary areas you want to research for schools are Florida, southern California and New York City. Florida offers schools with well-developed film programs such as Florida State University’s Film School, and University of Central Florida’s Film Program. Or, take a look at film schools in California like the University of Southern California, California State University of California, Loyola Marymount University, and the University of California Los Angeles. In New York City, you may want to research New York University, Colombia University, Syracuse University and Ithaca Film School. If you choose not to go to California or New York, try some other artistic schools like Savannah School of Art & Design (SCAD).
If you’re looking for a film school, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
There are tons of schools out there, and they all seem to offer something different. But what should you be looking for?
To start with, any school with a good film program will give you a great learning experience. That said, there are some factors that will make it better than others—and those factors vary depending on what kind of filmmaker you want to be. For example, if you want to work in Hollywood or New York, then Florida and Southern California have the benefit of major studios and professionals working in the surrounding region, as well as professors who are actively participating in the industry.
When looking at film schools in the U.S., take into consideration the student-to-professor ratio and class size, as well as student body size. Living costs of the area and dormitory situation should also be concerns you have. Transportation is another issue to consider—is it a city with public transportation? Will you need a car? Does the university provide buses?
After researching what kind of film school in the U.S. you would like to attend, take a look at their admission process. The admission process is very lengthy. There are many important deadlines you have to meet. These deadlines can occur within a year before you plan to attend the college. Early deadlines can sometimes occur, which aren’t mandatory, but offer you a better chance at being accepted since fewer students apply early. Look for these deadlines to ensure yourself a better likelihood of being accepted.
Many college and university applications require a lot of paperwork you have to fill out, which sometimes have to be notarized, and transcripts sometimes have to be submitted. Allow time for these documents to be gathered and mailed.
Along with the paperwork, college essays are required. They are much like a job interview, asking questions like what can you do for the college and what was a time you showed leadership. These essays must be error free, well written and creative.
In addition to applying for the college or university, you also have to apply for the film school within the college or university. This requires more paperwork and more essays. For example, in order to get into the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema Arts in the Film and Television Program, you must supply the university with a Cinematic Arts Personal Statement, a writing sample, a visual sample such as a video or photo, a portfolio list, three letters of recommendation, high school transcripts and TOEFL test scores. This is all in addition to the university’s regular application.
When applying to film schools in the U.S., make sure to do your research to ensure you go to a university or college you will like, with the film program you’re looking for. Look out for deadlines and start gathering the required materials for your chosen school a year before you want to attend. The requirements can be found on school websites or by calling an admissions counselor – they’re typically happy to answer any questions for you.
Best Film Schools in the World
Although not currently covered in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, whifamuch is being released soon, film studies is a hugely popular area at universities and colleges around the world.
Course options range from undergraduate film studies programs at large universities, to more specialized postgraduate programs at specialized arts institutes or academies. Film studies qualifications include the BA (Bachelor of Arts), BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), MFA (Master of Fine Arts) and, in some cases, an MPhil/PhD. It’s also possible to complete a one- or two-year diploma instead of a full degree.
Here are some of the top film schools around the world, divided by region, along with current tuition fee information (correct at time of publishing).
American Film Institute (AFI)
The school which David Lynch said he would give up everything “in a heartbeat” to attend, the American Film Institute (AFI) is perhaps the most famous of all film schools in Los Angeles, if not the whole of the US, thanks to the fact it hosts festivals and star-studded events throughout the year.
The institute enables students to produce as many as four personal films during their studies and to get advice from visiting industry experts including the likes of 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. Boasting 27 Emmy nominations among their alumni in 2017 alone, the American Film Institute also counts South Park producer Anne Garefino and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky among its past fellows.
Tuition fees including production materials: US$57,340 (The AFI Conservatory Program, 1st year students); $59,348 (2nd year students)
The CalArts School of Film and Video, dreamt up by Walt Disney shortly before he died in 1966, is another of the most prestigious film schools in Los Angeles (CalArts is located in the suburb of Valencia) and is a stomping ground for many of the best animators and filmmakers in Hollywood.
Tim Burton, one of CalArts’ earlier graduates, has since been followed by a series of notable Disney animators including Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo), Brad Bird (The Incredibles) and Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee (Frozen). Film studies degrees offered at CalArts include the BA, MA, MFA and DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts).
2018/19 tuition fees: US$48,660 (all students excluding M.A. in Aesthetics and Politics students)
Los Angeles Film School
If you’re looking to get into the film industry, you’ve probably heard of the Los Angeles Film School. Located slap-bang in the middle of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, it’s easy to see how the school got its name as one of the most notable schools for budding Hollywood filmmakers. Offering bachelor and associate degrees in all areas of the entertainment industry, including digital filmmaking, graphic design and entertainment business; the Los Angeles Film School encompasses the Los Angeles Recording School home of the famous RCA building where Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones once recorded their music; offering online programs in digital filmmaking, graphic design and entertainment business.
The LA Film School has been around since 1984 and has since produced some big names in Hollywood like Quentin Tarantino who studied at their school before graduating from NYU. The LA Film School is also known for its intensive hands-on program which gives students access to state-of-the-art equipment that other schools just don’t have access to.
2017 tuition fees: US$40,270 (A.S film, domestic students program total); US$53,220 (international students)
Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, NYU
Outside of Los Angeles, leading film schools in the US include New York’s Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, which is a part of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Located in the center of one of the world’s most culturally vibrant and renowned metropolises, Kanbar Institute of Film & Television boasts world-class alumni such as respected filmmaker Martin Scorsese and the much-praised creator of US TV series Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan.
In 2017, six members of the Tisch School of Arts’ alumni community were nominated for an Oscar. In addition to the film school’s main NYC campus, the school also has a campus in Singapore. As well as a number of undergraduate film studies degrees, the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television offers a postgraduate-level MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Filmmaking.
2017/18 tuition fees: US$26,451 (all students). Students should also expect to pay an additional US$1,261 for registration per term and US$1,655 per additional unit.
USC School of Cinematic Arts
The University of Southern California’s USC School of Cinematic Arts is a place where many of Hollywood’s most famed filmmakers started out. Receiving millions of dollars of support every year from the likes of George Lucas, the USC School of Cinematic Arts offers world-class media facilities such as an IMAX theatre and research lab, making it one of the most state-of-the-art film schools in Los Angeles.
Alumni of the USC School of Cinematic Arts include comedy writer and producer Judd Apatow and Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios. Film degrees offered by the USC school of Cinematic Arts include the BA, BFA and the MFA.
2017/18 tuition fees: US$53,448 (undergraduate level); US$32,927-48,247 (graduate level). Additional fees for equipment may also apply.
Other top film schools in the US:
- Boston University’s College of Communication
- Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
- Colorado Film School
- Columbia University’s School of the Arts
- Emerson College’s Department of Visual & Media Arts
- Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television
- New York Film Academy
- Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts
- UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television
- University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts
- University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communication
Top film schools in Canada
Toronto Film School
The Toronto Film School is well established as one of the best film schools in Canada. With a wide curriculum covering everything from film and TV production to interior decorating, the Toronto Film School is a career-focused school with a strong commitment to providing practical industry knowledge. Programs at the Toronto Film School take between one and two years to complete and all students graduate with a diploma.
2019 tuition fees:
- For 18 month programs: CA$35,158 (~US$26,450). International students pay an additional fee of CA$18,458 (~US$13,900).
- For 12 month programs: $22,980 (~US$17,300). International students pay an additional CA$12,064 (~US$9,080).
Vancouver Film School
Offering 13 programs covering all elements of the entertainment arts industry, Vancouver Film School is another of the leading film schools in Canada. From 3D animation to sound design, Vancouver Film School offers its students a condensed one-year program focused on gaining practical skills alongside industry knowledge. Students of Vancouver Film School graduate with a diploma.
2017/18 tuition fees, Film Production: CA$35,250 (domestic students); CA$53,250 for international students (approximately US$43,430)
Other top film schools in Canada:
- Carleton University’s School for Studies in Art and Culture
- Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
- Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts
- University of British Columbia’s Department of Theatre and Film
- York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts
Top film schools in Europe
Top film schools in the UK
London Film School
Open only to postgraduate students looking to gain a master’s degree or a PhD, the London Film School is one of the most highly reputed film schools in Europe, located in the heart of central London. Established for more than 60 years, the London Film School focuses on building craft and production skills in a practical environment, and has been named as one of just three Film Academies in the country by Creative Skillset, a UK governmental agency. Although the London Film School has only 220 students, the student base is a truly international one, with current students hailing from over 30 countries worldwide.
2018/19 tuition fees for MA Filmmaking: US$78,0620 (in total, for all students on the two-year program) plus £200/$280 for international students’ Visa Administration Fee.
National Film and Television School (NFTS)
Often lauded as the UK’s top film school, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) is hidden away on the outskirts of northwest London, near Slough. The only film school in the UK with its own film and television studios, the National Film and Television School offers a wide range of specialized postgraduate degrees, including 17 master’s programs, 14 diplomas, five certificate awards and a number of short courses.
Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park and Harry Potter director David Yates are among notable alumni of the National Film and Television School.
2018 tuition fees: £10,000-13,800 (€11,400-15,750) per year (MA programs, domestic students); £16,000-29,000 (~US$22,750-41,230) per year (MA programs, international students)
Top film schools in continental Europe
Academy of Performing Arts’ Film and TV School (FAMU)
Established in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, in 1946, the Academy of Performing Arts’ Film and TV School (FAMU) is one of the oldest and most prestigious film academies in the world. Responsible for nurturing filmmakers such as Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and offering programs in both Czech and English, FAMU attracts an exceptional international cohort every year.
Tuition fees: Free for Czech students and students studying in Czech; US$21,120 for an English-taught Directing degree (international students)
Located in Paris on the site of the old Pathé studios where the infamous Lumiere brothers are said to have invented filmmaking in 1894, La Fémis is now considered to be one of the best film schools in Paris. La Fémis offers programs taught only in French, but also provides exchange programs with US institutions such as CalArts and Columbia University. The school has around 200 students, of whom 8 percent are international.
Tuition fees: €433 (domestic students); US$13,280 (international students)
Lodz Film School
Are you a student who wants to become a part of the film industry? If so, then Lodz Film School is the place for you.
With new departments and modern equipment being added continually, Lodz Film School is one of Europe’s leading film institutes. By way of programs, Lodz Film School offers a full spectrum of full-time, part-time, postgraduate and PhD courses, ranging from two to five years of study.
Another of the best film academies in Europe, Lodz Film School, otherwise known as the Polish National Film, Television and Theater School, is the institution that produced a large number of Poland’s top filmmakers, helping to shape the Polish cinema industry.
Tuition fees: US$9,940-14,920 per year (all students)
Other top film schools in Europe:
- London Metropolitan University’s Sir John CASS Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design
- University of Television and Film Munich
- National Film School, Italy
- National Film School of Denmark
- Norwegian Film School
- Screen Academy Scotland
- University of the Arts London’s College of Communication
- Russian State University of Cinematography
Top film schools in Asia
Beijing Film Academy
With Avatar’s James Cameron as a visiting fellow and one of the world’s fastest-growing film industries as a setting, the Beijing Film Academy is well-placed as the only film academy in China and the largest in the whole of Asia. The Beijing Film Academy offers a BFA taught in English, as well as a large range of undergraduate and postgraduate Chinese-language programs. The school also offers an exchange program, a Chinese-language learning program and a short-term training program.
Tuiton fees: US$12,720 per year (English MFA, international students)
Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA)
South Korea’s flagship film school, established in 1984, the Korean Academy of Film Arts (KAFA) is at the heart of the nation’s film industry. While many alumni of the Korean Academy of Film Arts currently dominate their home market, some, such as Bong-Joon Ho (Snowpiercer), are busy creating a buzz in the US.
Other top film schools in Asia:
- City University of Hong Kong’s School of Creative Media
- Film and Television Institute of India
- Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Film
- Whistling Woods International Film school, India